What’s the deal with Ken “Brandy” Alexander?
The Walrus Magazine’s co-founder/former publisher rose from the dead last month to blow the whistle on his old mag for allegedly violating its registered charity status.
According to Ken, the foundation he created for the mag in 2005 has for years failed to meet its obligations to the CRA in order to maintain standing as a charity.
As news stories go, it wasn’t exactly the Pentagon Papers, and many in Toronto media circles were left wondering why Ken would take his petty cavils to Canadaland to try to make a mountain out of a charity mole hill?
Shurely Ken isn’t out to sabotage the magazine, one of few surviving general interest publications in the country?
Or is he out to regain control?
He obviously loathes the current Walrus brain trust, particularly publisher Shelley Ambrose.
Alexander told Jesse Brown that he resigned his post as Walrus obergrupenführer in 2008 because of a “toxic” work culture and “abuse” of workers by Ambrose.
But that’s not the way Walrus hacks recall the Alexander era:
“The personnel problems at The Walrus,” former editor Paul Wilson once said, “Lead back to Ken, to his self-aggrandizing approach to management, and to his need, sooner or later, to drive away everyone who is willing to stand up to him. He has lasted this long because he controls the money.”
That would be the Chawkers Foundation, Alexander’s family trust, which bank-rolled The Walrus in the early years.
In the event Alexander tries to mount a comeback, current Walrus staff can be expected to join their predecessors who fled the Alexander regime, including but not limited to: Nora Underwood, Marni Jackson, co-founder and ex-editor David Berlin, Gillian Burnett, Lisa Rundle, Sarmishta Subramanian, Ellen Vanstone, Catherine Osborne, Tom Fennell, Joshua Knelman, Christopher Flavelle, Andrew Clark, Rolf Dinsdale, Bernard Schiff and several board members.
Goo goo g’joob!